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Ilhan Omar criticises Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine

November 6, 2020 at 2:35 pm

US congresswoman Ilhan Omar during a press conference in Minnesota, US on 7 July 2020 [Brandon Bell/Getty Images]

Muslim-American Congresswoman Ilhan Omar yesterday condemned Israel for violating international law following the demolition of a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank earlier this week.

Criticism comes after the Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh accused Israeli troops of having “completely demolished the village of Homsa al-Baqia, leaving around 80 people homeless.”

In a tweet, Omar said: “This a grave crime – in direct violation of international law. If they used any US equipment it also violates US law,” noting that federal law prohibits American-funded military equipment from being used to commit war crimes.

“An entire community is now homeless and will likely experience lifelong trauma,” added Omar. “The United States of America should not be bankrolling ethnic cleansing. Anywhere.”

Israel’s widely practised policy of home demolitions targeting entire families are acts of illegal collective punishment and come in direct violation of International Human Rights Law.

Omar, a vocal supporter of Palestine, has previously been criticised for her comments on Israel.

In August 2019, she along with Palestinian-American Michigan representative Rashida Tlaib were denied entry to Israel, reportedly at US President Donald Trump’s urging, for an organised tour of Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

READ: Israel demolishes 11 Palestinian homes in West Bank

Omar secured a second term in the House after defeating her Republican challenger, African American businessman Lacy Johnson, earlier this week.

She is also a member of a group in congress known as “The Squad”, which has a reputation for being left leaning and critical of Israel. The Squad includes New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Massachusetts’ Ayanna Presley.